Monthly Archives: January 2013

Radio interview with Kerry Cunneen

Grand Jury resister Kerry Cunneen gave an interview to Finn’s Revolution radio show. Here is a rough transcript of the interview:

Question: What is anarchism and how did anarchists find themselves at May Day in Seattle?

Kerry: Anarchism is a political philosophy centered on the idea that a society without domination is better suited to foster the wellbeing of its members. Anarchists are necessarily anti-capitalists because capitalism hinges on exploitation and economic division in society. We also oppose the concentration of power that we refer to as the state. These various bodies of law, force, and control seek to contain the possibilities for society and compel us all to perpetuate capitalism. There are many other forms of social domination that anarchists will fight to abolish, such as racism and patriarchy, that are also deeply entwined  with capitalism.

As for May Day, it is, among other things, an anarchist holiday. It is a day that commemorates the militant labor struggle for the eight hour work day and the anarchists who were killed or imprisoned by the state for participating in this struggle. In Chicago, where the labor struggle was particularly militant, the police opened fire on a picket, killing and wounding picketers. The next day a demonstration was called and a bomb was thrown at the police line, killing an officer and wounding others. The state tried eight anarchists for the murder, and regardless of whether they were at the demonstration or not, all eight were sentenced to death or life in prison. We take May Day as a chance to remember these militant struggles and to inspire us to keep fighting against the state that wants us submissive or dead. Every year there are demonstrations and other events in cities all over. In the Pacific Northwest, Seattle was calling out to anarchists to come together and have a really massive anti-capitalist march. Many anarchists answered the call and showed up in Seattle that day.

Question: What was May 1, Seattle all about? Were there progressive groups involved? What was your involvement? Were you arrested or investigated? If so, how were you treated?

Kerry: There were a lot of events and marches scheduled for May Day in Seattle
this past year. A lot of them were related to occupy. I can’t say much about
the organizing of Seattle’s May Day because I don’t live there and was not
part of the organizing. I can say that May Day demonstrations have in many
places become somewhat placid, not resembling the spirit of resistance to
state control. They often get city permits, and designate peace police to
make sure the march is whatever the organizers want it to be. The anti-
capitalist march in Seattle was organized to be different. This march was
meant to be a disruption of capital. It was unpermitted and there was no
leadership in the march or expectation of abiding laws.

I was in Seattle at the anti-capitalist march on May Day. It was a glorious
day for anarchists, in my opinion. We effectively disrupted the goings on of
downtown Seattle. I was not arrested or anything, but clearly I have
become involved in the investigation somehow. But, with secret
investigations it is difficult to glean much information.

Question: Some people are appalled when property damage and injury occur in these kinds of events. What can you say regarding that?

Kerry: I would say that property destruction is an important tactic in the fight
against capitalism. I think property destruction does a number of things that further the struggle against domination. For one, it solidifies for us and reminds us that the powers we fight are not abstract and insurrmountable. They are
vulnerable to attack. I think also that when an institution which forcibly
maintains power over us is targeted by property destruction, this will often
resonate with others who experience the violence of that institution. It
makes us feel less alone and less like victims. I think that property destruction has a good effect on those who carry it out as well. I think most people need to unlearn submission and show themselves that they have the capacity to act for
their own liberation. I think that when people burn cop cars, break bank
windows, or blockade a road (thwarting the transfer of goods and or law
enforcement) they are also demonstrating to themself some of the
magnitude of their ability to resist. I think too that in some cases the
economic damage of property destruction can be effective against the state
and capital. It is not as though breaking windows is an end goal, but it is a
tactic that people shouldn’t thoughtlessly cast aside as if it were the
introduction of violence into the fight against the state, instead of the
response to endless state sponsored violence.

There are many flawed arguments against property destruction, but
without a specific one to debunk, I would only extrapolate on this point that
in general people are accustomed to experiencing and absorbing state
violence as normal. There is a desensitization and sometimes a blame
shifting that goes on to justify state violence against people. But, when
people fight back against these concentrated powers it is sensationalized
and often viewed as unprovoked or illegitimate. In the case of a
demonstration in the streets, it is really awful to hear someone criticize the
breaking of windows as they gloss over the acute violence at the hands of
the state. Demonstrations are often brutally repressed, people are beaten,
pepper sprayed, arrested and imprisoned and this is expected and often
accepted by witnesses and people in general. How can a rational person
deny efforts of resistance the use of violence against those who hold it in a
monopoly? We want to win, we really mean to destroy capital, and for that
we will need to be open to the idea of property destruction. We have to
strip capital of its power over society. This is not an easy or voluntary
occurrence but one that is achieved by force. Property after all, is a farce.

Question: Kerry, you, Maddy, Matt & Kteeo are currently refusing to cooperate with a Grand Jury in Seattle which is investigating events which occurred during May Day protests last year. First, why do you think the government has subpoenaed you and has decided to pressure you to testify? And why are all of you refusing to appear?

Kerry: I don’t know why I was subpoenaed to the grand jury. I am an Anarchist, I am known to have been in Seattle on May Day and the Feds are grasping at
straws trying to make a case against Anarchists in whatever way they can.
I doubt they have any idea who broke the courthouse windows nor do they
care. I think they are using the attack on the courthouse as a pretext to
bring down a heavy hand and try to scare Anarchists away from militant
resistance. It isn’t working and I am glad to think that this is frustrating to
the state.

I refuse to appear because I despise the state. They are working to undo
everything that Anarchists stand for. I refuse to help them on the principle
that prisons should be abolished. I refuse them because I am in complete
support of the crimes they are investigating. I refuse them with a visceral
hatred for the law and all of the lives they ruin. I am glad for the little bit of
resistance I can provide in denying them information. I respect and admire
Matt, Kteeo and Maddy for making the sacrifice that is involved in sitting for
and undetermined jail sentence. I just am not personally willing to take a
step in the direction of my own jail cell.

Question: Clearly the government is attempting to intimidate you and anarchists and activists in general. First by calling you to testify in a Grand Jury setting thereby trying to force you give up your right to remain silent which exists in standard judicial courts, and then by jailing some of you to wear you down. Can they legally keep any of you in jail indefinitely until you testify, and just how long do all of you think this can last? Can you talk about what legal actions are being taken on your behalf?

Kerry: The state has the power to do lots of things, legal or not. Legally though,
people can be held in civil contempt for not testifying for a period up to 18
months or whenever the grand jury ends, whichever comes first. The grand
jury is slated to end by March of 2014 so there could be a lot of people in
jail for a long time over this. There are currently no legal actions being
taken on my behalf that I know of. I am not in need of any legal help unless
I am arrested. There doesn’t seem to be much that lawyers can do to help
people who are subpoenaed. All of the attempts to get the subpoenas
thrown out have been laughed out of the courts. They are going to do all
they can to turn people against their principles. I don’t see it working with
most Anarchists though.

Question: Kerry, where can listeners find out more about all this, and what can they do to get involved and help?

Kerry: So, the support group for the subpoenaed folks has a website. It is That is where you can go for news
and updates about the grand jury in the Pacific Northwest. It is also where you can donate some much needed money which will help us fill the commissary of
the folks in jail so they can continue to write letters, eat and such things.
We also need money for lawyers fees and in case of indictments coming
from the grand jury. There is a support site for the 5 people recently
indicted for alleged crimes during the various marches of May Day in
Seattle. The site is There is also a
site, which is cataloging the numerous actions of property
destruction which are being carried out in solidarity with those resisting the
grand jury and its targets.

I would say that people can help by holding fundraisers and other events to
raise money and awareness about what is happening. You can contact
either support groups to figure out how to set something up in your area.
Probably the most important thing though, is that people continue to
struggle in the spirit of the anti-capitalist march on May Day. People need
to attack, in whatever way they feel they can, the institutions that hold us
down. We are all inspired by resistance and it helps those of us facing
repression to know that we don’t struggle alone.

New Art in support of Grand Jury Resisters

Corina Dross in Philadelphia has made an image to use for fund-raisingArt-20130117 for the grand jury resisters. It’s currently for sale on  her website, and she’ll be donating all the profits to our fund.  It is rumoured CrimethInc will be making the poster version available soon.

Never Surrender: Kerry Cunneen subpoenaed to the NW grand jury


Portland anarchist Kerry Cunneen has announced their refusal to cooperate with the grand jury investigating the May Day attack on the Nakamura federal courthouse in Seattle. Kerry’s subpoena, which was delivered on December 14th, stated that they were required to appear just 5 days later on the 19th. Their lawyer successfully got the date pushed back until January 3rd, when Kerry declined to even enter the grand jury room. Kerry has stated that they will never under any circumstance cooperate with this or any state in persecuting themself or others:

I have been subpoenaed to the grand jury in Seattle investigating Anarchists in the Pacific Northwest. I was called to testify on January 3rd at 9am. I did not appear before the grand jury. I will not cooperate with this grand jury nor will I in any way aid the state in its efforts to imprison people.
I stand firmly in solidarity with the actions taken against the Nakamura Federal court house during the May Day demonstration and all action taken against the state and capital towards the goal of a more liberated society.
I am in solidarity with the May Day 5, with Maddy, Matt and Kteeo, and everyone else who has met repression with resilience. To all whose solidarity has come in some form of action, it is inspiring and must continue.

never surrender,
Kerry Cunneen

CAPR supports Kerry’s bold refusal to even enter the grand jury room. Although for some, resisting a grand jury may be a display of commitment of civil liberties, free speech, or freedom of association, it can also be a method to further the spread of insurrectionary tactics. To be blunt, it is easier to break windows or act against the state in other ways that are necessarily illegal when there is a culture against snitching among anarchists. We oppose the state in its entirety – we are against its courts, its prisons, its judges, its prosecutors, and every manifestation of the law and their justice. The Committee Against Political Repression is encouraged by attacks against the existent, including the May Day attack on the Nakamura federal courthouse.

The May Day anti-capitalist march in Seattle signaled a broad and growing antagonism to hierarchy and domination, and the state’s heavy-handed response to it (three house raids in Portland, at least nine grand jury subpoenas, and three people currently sitting in prison for refusing to testify) signals just how dangerous the state perceived it to be. As an anonymous author writes in We Are Contagious: a gift to those who desire social revolt,

What was special about May Day wasn’t the black bloc, impressive as it was in its coordination and preparation. What was special was that the hundreds of people clustered around the black bloc probably had a good idea of exactly what was going to happen when the anti-capitalist march left Westlake…and they liked it. They stayed close the bloc anyway; a few even joined in on the fun. Others screamed in joy. Some, who only months ago might have tried to prevent the property destruction or would have later denounced it, simply smiled to themselves and moved on down the road. Perhaps most importantly, a fair number of these people will return to the streets, better prepared to act themselves.

Broken windows are an easily replicable tactic that is capable of rapid generalization. Although broken windows are certainly not the anarchist end-goal (there is no single anarchist end-goal), the tactic of breaking windows is a way for people to directly attack (and cause financial damage to) institutions to which they are opposed, and build affinity in the streets. The state logically must do whatever it can to control, disrupt, recuperate, or liquidate that which presents a threat. While we are angry about this grand jury (and all grand juries, and the existence of the state, period), it also shows that anarchists have been doing something right – anarchists are posing a threat that can’t be ignored.

We can respond to this and all instances of repression by strengthening and escalating our projects of resistance. Kerry has stated that the best support they could ask for is action of some sort that is in resistance to state and capital. Indeed, that is the only way we’ll come through to the other side stronger than before.

Repression Against Anarchists Intensifies

Call Sea-Tac (206-870-5700) and demand an end to the use of solitary confinement. Call US Attorney Jenny Durkan (800-797-6722) and demand an end to the grand jury investigation. Email us after you call and let us know how it went.

Two recent developments indicate an intensification of the government’s campaign against the anarchist movement in the Pacific Northwest.

In late December, the three grand jury resisters being held at the Sea-Tac Detention Center for their refusal to testify were moved into solitary confinement. No explanation has been given for why they were moved.

In a letter describing the situation, Kteeo wrote:

“Prison is incredibly fucked up even at the best of times, but that doesn’t mean people can’t create community within these circumstances. We do. When I was in my unit I was part of a community. I gave support and received support. I learned from people and I taught. My unit doesn’t have educational opportunities so we created our own. I taught math, reading, and lead a workout group. I was part of something, part of laughter and part of tears; part of a shared experience (not that any of us want to be part of a this). I was a part of growth, part of a community that comes together again and again as our units make up changes. But I am no longer in that unit, no longer in that community.”

Read full letter here.

The Committee Against Political Repression is calling for the discontinuation of the use of solitary confinement for any purpose, and for the immediate release of Matt Duran, Kteeo Olejnik, and Maddy Pfeifer.

In an unrelated case, in Portland, a young man accused of firebombing an empty police car was released on bail, under the condition that he have no contact with any anarchist organizations. He was specifically ordered not to have contact with Resist the NW Grand Jury or the prisoner support group Anarchist Black Cross, clearly indicating that prosecutors want to prevent him from receiving legal, political, or personal support that would aid in his defense.

These developments come after a year which has seen, in addition to the grand jury hearings, SWAT raids against activists in Portland and Seattle, a grotesque inflation of charges in a Portland case involving small-scale vandalism, and indictments against five people accused of participating in a Seattle May Day demonstration where government and corporate property was attacked. Similar events have played out simultaneously in the Bay Area, and elsewhere in the country, forming what critics have called a Federal anti-anarchist witch hunt.

CAPR believes that the governments most recent actions confirm what we have said all along: The state is using the legal system to target the anarchist movement, in the process criminalizing a set of political beliefs and associations. We decry the use of inquisitorial tactics such as secret hearings, coerced testimony, guilt-by-association, and torture in the form of solitary confinement.

CAPR is asking its supporters to call Sea-Tac (206-870-5700) and demand an end to the use of solitary confinement, and to call US Attorney Jenny Durkan (800-797-6722) demanding an end to the grand jury investigation.

Kteeo’s Letter from Solitary

Hey Everybody,

First off, I want to thank all of you so much for all of the incredible support being thrown my way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

So here I am back in SHU (solitary) and I’m not sure why. It’s been four days and I haven’t been told yet, but I’m sure I’ll know soon enough…. So now, not only have I been taken away from my community, my loved ones on the outs, but now I have been taken away from the community on the inside, my unit….

I want to be very clear: Prison is incredibly fucked up even at the best of times, but that doesn’t mean people can’t create community within these circumstances. We do.

When I was in my unit I was part of a community. I gave support and received support. I learned from people and I taught. My unit doesn’t have educational opportunities so we created our own. I taught math, reading, and lead a workout group. I was part of something, part of laughter and part of tears; part of a shared experience (not that any of us want to be part of a this). I was a part of growth, part of a community that comes together again and again as our units make up changes.

But I am no longer in that unit, no longer in that community.

So here I am back in the SHU.… my rec yard time is now very limited (the yard isn’t actually outside, it’s fresh air and room to roam). I’ll be real, the lack of space and fresh air is hard. The very little freedoms (you know like, choosing when to take a shower…) are gone.

I think that the hardest part of this is that being in solitary (like all parts of prison) doesn’t just affect the person in solitary, this experience doesn’t just affect me. Being in the SHU you get one phone call a month. One. 1. o-n-e. That affects people. Friends, families… I know this is true for my own. It’s a whole lot harder to ask my parents, family, and friends to trust that I am OK when I can only call them once a month. Prior to the SHU, I would call my parents once a day and a good friend or two once a week…. I could let my loved ones know in real time that I was ok.

Its not ok how much this affects others and I truly believe that is an intentional part of punishment. The prison knows that it hurts us to hurt our loved ones.

But it is not all bad. I’m figuring out ways to stay fit in my cell. I’m learning so much about myself and getting really good at enjoying my own company, and I’m getting more study time.

Oh yeah, everything is bright orange, like, everything! So, that’s pretty rad; like the Destiny’s Child video for Say My Name….

Anywho, knowing this isn’t breaking me, knowing that I’m still laughing, still smiling, makes me feel stronger than ever before.

Keep smiling, keep struggling.

In solidarity and gratitude,


P.S. I can totally get letters, but please continue to be patient with me. Return time may be even longer. Postage has got to stretch a bit further these days.

Holiday Letter from Kteeo

Hello Everyone!

Thank you so much for the awesome letters. I’m still working to write you all back, but please know that even if I have not written you back that your letters mean the world to me! Also, if you write to me, please include a return address inside. I have read them wrong sometimes and have had a few returned. You are all super rad, thank you!! I couldn’t do my thing without the epic support work ktogoing on! So a huge thanks to everyone doing any degree of support work. On to my next ramble:

So, holidays in prison can be a total bummer. I mean, the food is generally better than the usual day-to-day (hell yeah fresh veggies!) Besides the better food, they are just hard. There are several levels to this… A lot of the women I am in here with are mothers. Children are missed just a little more on holidays, and they are worried about a little more too. A lot of the mothers here constantly worry about how their imprisonment effects the consistency in their children’s lives. There is no other time this is discussed more than around the holidays. Not being able to carry out traditions, provide physical closeness during this emotional time of year, or to provide gifts (although there are some pretty cool faith-based groups who attempt to give gifts to children of incarcerated parents for the winter holidays, regardless of faith, but they don’t fill the need), are all things that are worried about. Mothers in here worry about conveying to their children that they are loved.

Besides many being mothers, women here are caregivers on “the outs” for aging parents and other family members and they have a very hard time being away during the holidays…worried about who those people will spend their lives with. PRISON DOES NOT JUST EFFECT THOSE INCARCERATED!!

It is also just sad to be away from my family (whether created or born-into family) during the holidays. On a personal note, I know that Christmas is going to be hella hard on me. I was never raised religious, but what I do believe in is the love of my family and every year I have spent Christmas with my mom, dad, and brother (who are awesome people), but this year I’ll be in the custody of BOP and I will be real, this makes me very sad. In regards to prison effecting much more than those incarcerated, I know that being in prison over the holidays is going to hurt my whole family and it is hard knowing that there is nothing I can do about it. We are close in our hearts and our minds and we have been making sure to remind each other of our love via phone, letters, and joint projects.

Sorry if I just bummed you all out. I want to assure you that I am doing fine. I just wanted to be real about my experience.

In other news, a huge shout out to CAPR folks as well as numerous ABC chapters and many unnamed groups of people and those of various ranges of kinds of political groups doing support on behalf of all of us.

A huge shout out to the rad folks in Honolulu,HI who keep writing me. You all are incredible. Will you please send me your return address? I haven’t been able to get it right and would love to get back to ya’ll.

Also Denver ABC thank you so much for your constant support.

To all of your, thank you and happy holidays!

In solidarity,


PS, Sad Christmas music came on while I was writing this, and I am finding it really funny.

Matt and Kteeo back in solitary confinement – please call the prison!

Matthew Duran and Katherine “KteeO” Olejnik were unexpectedly thrown back into solitary confinement at SeaTac FDC on December 27th, the day after Maddy Pfeiffer self-reported to the same prison. After Matt’s friends and family didn’t hear from him for a few days, his lawyer contacted him and found out that both he and KteeO were removed from the general population.

Right now we don’t know why they were moved back to solitary. It is common for prisons to arbitrarily punish the people they are keeping locked up by keeping them away from other people. Meanwhile, no one has heard from Maddy Pfeiffer since they self-reported on the 26th, and we expect they will remain in solitary for at least a week.

Please call SeaTac FDC at 206-870-5700 to demand that Matthew Duran, Katherine Olejnik, and Matthew Pfeiffer be released from prison.

Don’t let your solidarity with the grand jury resisters end with a phone call! The work we do to support the grand jury resisters is part of a broader project of refusal of hierarchy and domination, toward the destruction of prisons, borders, capital, and the state.

Solidarity with the grand jury resisters, for the destruction of all prisons!!

Take Your Mark, Get Ready, Ablate: Three Positions Against Prison